Me and Allison in Joburg
Towards the end of February, my totally awesome girlfriend Allison (now known as Thandeka) came to visit me in here in South Africa. Yay!
This is what wuv looks like:
Allison arrived in Johannesburg, so we spent the weekend with friends Ben and Liz, wallowing in the decadence of laundry machines and paved roads.
Our first major tourist attraction was Oriental Plaza, the capital of a magical consumer limbo between informal street bazaar and boutique shopping mall:
Where I discovered my inner manliness:
The highlight of our time in Joburg was a jaunt to Soccer City for the Soweto Derby, the twice-yearly soccer showdown between the only two soccer teams that matter: the Orlando Pirates and the Kaizer Chiefs.
Because the tickets sold out (as I literally stood in line waiting to buy them a few days prior), we had to scalp. Behold, the spoils of the black market:
Scalping, of course, carries the danger of being sold fraudulent tickets. We were very aware of this, but cautiously optimistic. It wasn’t like we were the only ones who got tickets from this guy, he had a whole stack.
We made our way to our gate, but when we finally got to the front of the line our tickets wouldn’t scan in the machine. The security guard never suggested he thought our tickets were fake, and suggested we go to a different (specific) gate.
At our second gate, we again had problems with the ticket scanner. However, we weren’t the only ones. About 30 very agitated fans were making quite the scene about the “broken” ticket scanner, so security just let us all in. We proceeded to our section and sat down. We were in!
And so were a lot of other people. Our section was clearly, uhhh…oversold. People were sitting on the steps.I’m still not sure if we were counted in this number:
For you “National Treasure” fans, 92515 is a ZIP code in Riverside, California.
Check out Soccer City, now known as FNB Keep:
The Chiefs took a 1-0 lead very early, and the score remained unchanged until the final moments of the game. In the extra time after 90 minutes, as Chiefs fans celebrated and began to exit the stadium, the Pirates tied the game. I took this fellow’s picture right before the score tied:
After the game we waited out the parking mass-exodus and basked in the shadow of the Coca-Cola tower:
And we found a special Joburg street animal:
That’s Mr. Beady-Hippo. He’s street art. In areas of Joburg where tourists walk the streets, plenty of people want to sell you their creations. Mr. Beady-Hippo is pretty cool, even if he made me sleep on the couch.